Tag Archives: Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs

A picture speaks a thousand words, a collection of brilliant and mind blowing iconic internationally recognised photographs spanning over a period of 30 years is the showcase of a world class master photographer that commands great respect and following from fellow photographers and fans around the world.

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I can still remember and will always remember that pair of beautiful eyes on the front cover of National Geographic Magazine that “spoke to me” when I was a young kid in school. The Afghan girl portrait was just one of the most beautiful photographs captured by the world famous iconic photogrpaher Steve McCurry.

Steve McCurry photography artworks had a huge influence on me and how I started off my photography journey approximately 30 years ago and the Afghan girl portrait shot by Steve McCurry was perhaps the photograph that got me started off in photography and photojournalism. My style of photography story telling was inspired a lot by National Geographic Magazine and by great photographers such as Steve McCurry.

When I got news about a month ago that Steve McCurry would be coming to Singapore, I was very excited and it would really be a wonderful opportunity to listen and meet one of my favourite photographers right here in person. Once more details were announced, Steve McCurry would be exhibiting his photography works at Sundaram Tagore Gallery with a special selection of 53 photographs personally for this exhibition.

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There was a Q&A session with Steve McCurry on Saturday 16th January 2016 from 3pm to 5pm, with a large turnout and a number of attendees had to stand behind and at the sides of the exhibition space, just to catch and listen to the great man sharing about his work, photography and life experiences. The experiences and stories shared by Steve was simply amazing and humbling. While I didn’t embark on a full time career as a photographer or photojournalist, in my personal photography adventures and freelance photography work, story telling had been an integral part of my photography adventures and works.

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After the Q&A session, I continued to stay behind and view the photographs that were being exhibited with Faiz, having a lot of discussion, exchanging views, ideas and thoughts while looking at the photographs. We also decided to purchase one of Steve McCurry photo books available on sale at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, titled “India”.

Being a huge fan of this great man, I turned into a fan boy mode, queued up along with fellow fans, holding my photo book in one hand and my camera in the other hand, waiting patiently for my turn to get my photo book autographed, shake his hand and take a photo with a world famous iconic photographer Steve McCurry, a photographer that I looked upon to and had a huge influence on me. This priceless photograph of Steve McCurry and myself, is taken by my friend Faiz, thanks bro!

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Today, I learned more about Steve McCurry, his photography artworks, his experiences, sharing and wisdom. It’s about learning and continuing to learn, even at his tenure and huge experiences, this is very humbling, coming from the master photographer himself.

I still have a lot to learn and improve, on my photography, on my photography story telling, on personal photography projects, holding my photography exhibition in the near future and the list goes on.

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Thank you, Steve McCurry, for visiting Singapore again, sharing with your fans here in Singapore on your photography journeys, iconic photographs and experiences.

Event Details

Exhibition Title: Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs

Exhibition Dates: 16th January 2016 to 21st February 2016

Venue: Sundaram Tagore Gallery

Address: 5 Lock Road Gillman Barracks #01-05 Singapore 108933

Admission: Free

Opening Hours: Tues to Sat: 11am – 7pm, Sun: 11am – 6pm Closed on Mondays

Learning from Photography Masters, Sharing and Reflecting

The new era for photography, with the proliferation of digital photography along with the mirror-less system camera technology, has changed the photography landscape by huge waves, some of the topics had been debated and discussed over the years. What are the challenges that photographers faced ahead into the new future, the new era of photography and beyond? I don’t have the answers and will not have the answers to them.

As I am thinking hard, consolidating my thoughts, feelings and ideas, there would definitely be some topics that may not be written down here today. One of my mandates was lifelong learning, in life, in work, for my passion, interests and hobbies. My photography journey over the years were self-learned through books, photographing and photographing, invaluable advice from photography seniors/mentors and learning from photography masters through their works and sharing. A key and important life learning personal development skill that is applicable universally, is that by teaching/mentoring people, you would improve your skills, knowledge and experiences in your field of expertise. I gradually applied this to my photography journeys and the truth dawned upon me on that I still have a lot to learn while I am teaching/mentoring a fellow photographer.

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I shared a lot of photography tips from photography masters, photography websites and sometimes sharing my own tips/experiences on my Facebook Page. The Facebook Page is where I leverage and follow photographers FB pages and photography websites FB pages. Recently, there were a few posts by photography masters that got me reading, thinking and learning again. Now is the time to share and reflect.

Which are the posts that triggered my learning again?

David duChemin

Sebastiao Salgado

Steve McCurry

A common understanding, probably a topic of concern/interest is, are we photographers losing the art to see, feel, touch and compose a photograph? Are we too obsessed with areas such as the technical specifications on the number of megapixels, mirror-less versus DSLR, whatever features I have inside my camera is better than your camera? Post processing and editing, how much is too much?

I once shared with a fellow photographer friend – “I can share with you, I can teach you about the technical aspects of a camera. I cannot teach you creativity, it is something you have to explore and find it yourself”.

I am not going to lie and say I do not wish or I do not need to upgrade my camera setup. I have my wish list for my next DSLR body upgrade and creating a mirror-less camera setup. Yet, I was also awaken by David duChemin post “Stop Using A Camera, Start Making Photogrpahs” – to go beyond the Gear Acquisition Syndrome and Start Making Photographs.

Start Making Photographs, it’s an artwork that goes deep into your heart, your mind, your soul, through your eyes, you let the feelings flow through your heart, think, plan and once you see it, capture it down, the priceless moment.

Understand what you want to shoot, the impacts and beyond your photographs can bring to the world. Study beyond the art and subject of photography, from sociology, anthropology, geography and economics. These are the words from Sebastiao Salgado.

“Your Eye, Heart and Soul Are Your Most Important Gear” – a personal photography philosophy that I regularly shared with my photographer friends especially those that were mentored by me. These words came from Steve McCurry, a renowned world famous photographer. Steve was one of the first few photographers that I looked upon a lot, just by looking and learning from his breathe-taking photography artworks. He was a big influence in my photography learning and adventure.

Now, the truth has come to light, my personal photography tip “Shoot with your heart and soul, through your eyes” came from learning and observing the master photographer Steve McCurry’s works over my photography journey years. The circle is complete, sub-consciously over the decades, I learned it from him.

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With a wide mixture of photography tips and sharing, it might be confusing for some photographers, it might be enlightening for some of you photographers. If you are lost, why not let the inhibitions go away, free the pressure and expectations to photograph a photograph? Make a photograph instead.

Alright photographers, grab your camera gears and equipment, time to head out and start making photographs!

7 Days in Myanmar – Pictorial Book

7 Days in Myanmar, a large format 276 page pictorial book containing some of the most beautiful photography works of the diverse people, cultures and landscapes of Myanmar, by 30 of the most famous and leading photographers. In conjunction with the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be held from 11 to 22 December 2013 in Myanmar, Sony has participated in the production of ‘7 Days in Myanmar’. This pictorial book features some of the biggest names in photography – Abbas, Michael Yamashita, Melisa Teo, Steve McCurry, Michael Freeman, Bruno Barbey, Raghu Rai and many more. The 30 photographers traveled throughout Myanmar from 27th April to 4th May, capturing many beautiful images of Myanmar, from all the different corners of Myanmar, the urban cities to the countryside.

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Book Cover: 7 Days in Myanmar by 30 Great Photographers

Sony recognises the importance of capturing the many different facets of Burmese life which had been unknown to the world for decades. Therefore, the company supports this initiative by being a major sponsor, contributing to the production of the photo book. The book, which will be distributed worldwide, also comes with a DVD documentary film that depicts the journey of the photographers throughout that whole week. Locally, it will be available at all leading bookstores for SGD70.09 + GST.

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7 Days in Myanmar – Temple spires silhouetted in sepia light point skyward in Bagan

Photographer: Michael Yamashita

The photographs are very beautiful and inspiring, especially with some of my favourite photographers Michael Yamashita and Steve McCurry featured inside this wonderful pictorial book! On a personal note, I am planning to photograph and document the diverse cultures, people and landscapes of Myanmar in 2014 and I want to do it as a personal travel project portfolio!

For travel and photography buffs, you will love this pictorial book! Do check out the details of the book below!

About The Book

ISBN 978-981-4385-74-9

Title: 7 Days in Myanmar

Subtitle: By 30 Great Photographers

Price: SGD 70.09 + GST / MYR 185.00 / USD 60.00 / GBP 35.00

Extent: 276 pages

Size: 352 mm by 280 mm

Binding: Hardback

Publication Date: December 2013

For more information, check out the links below!

~ 7 Days in Myanmar website –  http://7daysinmyanmar.com/

~ Official Facebook Page –  https://www.facebook.com/7DaysInMyanmar

* Information and Photographs Courtesy of Edition Didier Millet, Sony Singapore and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide * 

Thoughts & Reflections From The Unguarded Moment

When I was a little boy growing up, my dad was influential, along with my uncles and cousin, introducing me to the world of photography and I recalled “playing” with his Pentax ME Super (not really working now) and later a Nikon F401X (in our little museum), before settling down with the Canon 30D today.

I collected and read National Geographic Magazines, although I had stopped collecting them (Not that I don’t support them, just that, I don’t know how and where to store them !!). There was a photo that caught my attention when I was very young and I still remembered it till today. Yesterday, at the exhibition The Unguarded Moment, on the last day of the exhibition, held at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

I finally saw it right in front of me with my very own eyes, a world class masterpiece that captured many hearts worldwide – The Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry. Viewing through Steve McCurry’s world class photographs, it was amazing, they were so powerful and delivered many different messages across to viewers, intriguing, evoking emotions in the subjects and us viewers, introducing cultural and societal situations, perspectives and practices into our eyes, heart and soul. A true master in photography, looking through his masterpieces, a great learning journey too for me.

Steve was in Singapore recently and I didn’t grab the chance to join the local photographers sessions and meet him in person ! Hopefully, when Steve is back in Singapore again, I would be able to do so. I was very happy that I visited Steve’s The Unguarded Moment photography exhibition on its last day and returning home later, I started researching, reading, admiring and learning Steve McCurry’s sites, photography works and blog.

Steve McCurry on Magnum Photos

Steve McCurry Photography

Steve McCurry’s Blog

Reflecting on how I can learn and improve on my photography, there was a quote abstract by Steve McCurry – “But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.”

Another little step into improving my photography ………